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AutoNews claims 300’s time is limited, Portal is coming

by David Zatz on

According to respected reporter Larry Vellequette at Automotive News, the Chrysler 300 will cease production in 2020, the victim of falling sedan sales and a changing market. Instead, Chrysler will use its limited factory space to make the fully-electric Portal, a production version of the 2017 concept minivan.

The actual production Chrysler Portal is likely to look rather different from the concept, but there are aspects of the styling which will continue. The brand has changed its styling a few times since the 2005 Chrysler 300 was launched, but the Portal can at least be seen as an evolution of the Pacifica.

As for the Pacifica itself, Mr. Vellequette predicted that it would be freshened in 2020, with a redesign coming in 2024.  Original story (subscription may be required).

FCA has been relatively untouched by the plummeting sedan market, largely because it dropped its traditional compact and midsized cars; the domestic sedan lineup now consists of the Dodge Charger and Chrysler 300 (excluding Alfa Romeo and Maserati). The Dodge Challenger plays in a different ballgame, sporty coupes and muscle cars.

portal - journey crossover replacement
Rendering of a Pacifica-based crossover which, despite the label we attached two years ago, will almost certainly not be called the Portal.

The 300 does not really fit the future vision of Chrysler; more importantly, perhaps, it competes with the Charger for a limited number of full-size passenger-sedan buyers. Dodge is going all-rear-drive-based, and Chrysler, most likely, is going all-crossover-and-minivan. If this plan goes through, it would differentiate Chrysler and Dodge more than they have been since Dodge Brothers was first integrated into Chrysler Corporation.

If the strategy is successful, it’s possible that Jeep “soft-roaders” could be assigned to Chrysler, allowing Jeep to go all-AWD/4×4.

The drop in traditional passenger-car sales caught many companies off guard, and both Ford and General Motors have announced that they would drop some models, while Honda found a less favorable market for their redesigned Accord. Crossovers and pickups have been increasing in sales and share, positioning Jeep and Ram as the growth brands; numerous rumors have Chrysler getting a version of the Jeep Grand Commander (currently made and sold only in China), and possibly a full-size Pacifica variant, sometime in the next three years.  Chrysler Portal page

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